Cross-post from FL-LIST: British accent stereotypes - 'news'

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Sun Apr 6 01:47:32 UTC 2008

>A British psychologist has revealed that perceptions are 'affected by
>accent' and that British regional and social accents are subject to social
We need no ghost come from the grave to tell us this.  (This is the English-major breaking out in me again -- sorry.)

When I was in college, ca. 1960, Boston's commercial classical music radio station, (long since sold out), spent a week assigning its announcers to read a bulletin that went, more or less, as follows:
Professor Albert Morris, of the Boston University Sociology Department, has recently returned from six months' of research in New Zealand, where he studied the penitentiary system.  Professor Morris has found that prisoners convicted of crimes against property, such as burglary and car theft, are more likely to escape from prison than those convicted of crimes against the person, such as murder or rape.  Professor Morris supposes that this may be related to the fact that the latter are locked up more carefully than the former.

Social scientists do have a penchant for discovering the obvious.  what English majors discover -- well, don't get me started.


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately.

----- Original Message -----
From: Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
Date: Friday, April 4, 2008 9:45 am
Subject: Cross-post from FL-LIST: British accent stereotypes - 'news'

> Forwarded from the forensic linguistics list.  (Pretty amazing that
> research has actually shown that people form impressions of others
> based on how they speak...)
> LH

The American Dialect Society -

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